A debut that aims to be the great Jewish-American novel
by Adam Levin
$29.00 List Price
Ambition is an attractive quality in a book, and Adam Levin's first novel, The Instructions, is Napoleonically ambitious, a 1,030-page brick wrapped within a metafictional conceit. The book is, supposedly, a 2013 edition of a "scripture" by protagonist Gurion ben-Judah Maccabee. The first half has been translated from English into Hebrew and back into English, retaining, due to its "translingual" immutability, its original wording. This is only one of the miracles attributed to this text and to Gurion, who spends the better part of the book steadfastly insisting that he's not the Jewish Messiah, although he eventually lets on that he wouldn't mind if he were. Did I mention that Gurion is brilliant, psychotic, deeply charismatic, and ten years old? He is. Also, he's half-Ethiopian. ("Really?" his girlfriend says.
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